10 Ways to Save Money on Your Food Shopping
‘How to save money on groceries’ has become one of the most popular internet searches in recent years with people looking for ways to save money on this essential expense. Some have made the switch to a budget supermarket whereas others swear by shopping in the reduced section. Whatever works for you, we’ve gathered together some savvy shopping and cooking tips to help you make your food (and your money) go a bit further.
1. Use What You’ve Got
We’re all guilty of having cupboards full of tins and jars that inevitably get thrown out once they go past their best. This is where websites such as SuperCook come in handy! It works as a backwards recipe finder, so you enter the products you have and it gives you a selection of recipes you can make using those items. It’s a great way to use up those items and you never know, you might find a new favourite meal to cook.
2. Get Savvy
If you’re not short on time and don’t mind shopping about to get the best deals then it’s worth trying out mysupermarket. This website compares the cost of hundreds of branded items at various shops and supermarkets so you can easily see where to go to get the best deal. It’s updated daily and claims to help shoppers save on average 30% on their grocery shop. They even have a smartphone app so you can check and compare prices on the move.
3. Take a Picture
How often do you start unpacking your grocery shopping, only to discover that you’ve bought an item you already had at home? Snapping a picture on your smartphone of the contents of your fridge before you head out means you can easily check if you already have an item at home, while you’re in the supermarket. This is also handy if you’re in a rush and didn’t have time to make a shopping list.
4. What’s On The Menu?
Creating a menu is a great way to control your food budget. Set aside some time to plan your meals and then you can create a shopping list of the ingredients you need to make them. This means you will only purchase things you’re actually going to eat and less likely to waste food. Of course, you don’t need to stick to the menu exactly, if you find you don’t have time to cook a casserole on Tuesday, you can easily swap it out for Wednesday’s stir fry instead.
5. Shop From Home
Home delivery isn’t only for those who aren’t able to get to the shops. Online shopping is a great way to stick to your budget as you get a running total while you fill your virtual basket. You can immediately see where you’re overspending and compare current offers to get the best deals. Best of all, it stops those impulse purchases while you’re queuing at the checkout!
6. Go Veggie
Meat Free Monday is a campaign to encourage people to swap out meat for a vegetarian option one day a week in order to improve their health. Meat can be expensive and with so many vegetarian alternatives available to bulk out your meal it’s definitely worth a try, even just for one day a week. If you absolutely cannot live without meat, then try purchasing ‘yellow stickered’ reduced items and storing them in your freezer until you’re ready to use them.
7. Drop The Brand
Another popular trick among savvy shoppers is doing what’s known as a brand drop. If you normally purchase Heinz baked beans, try swapping them out for the supermarket’s own brand and see if you notice the difference. More often than not, these items have the same ingredients and are just as good, if not better than the named brand. Of course, not everything is going to be as good, but it’s worth trying to see if you can save yourself a few pennies.
8. Check The Real Price
Before buying something in bulk it’s worth checking the cost per weight or ‘each’ price. This helps determine the ‘real’ price of the item and if it really is cheaper to buy larger packs.
For example: a 9 pack of branded toilet rolls is £0.22 per sheet and a 24 pack is £0.23 per sheet, then you’re not actually saving money by buying the bigger pack – get it?
9. Bulk up
Buying in bulk might seem like an obvious way to save money, but make sure you consider it properly before impulse bulking. Realistically, unless you have a large family or a super-sized freezer, bulk purchases are best saved for canned or dried food that has a long shelf life. There’s no point making a bulk purchase only for it to all go out of date in a few weeks. If it’s something you use regularly and can easily store, then go for it!
10. Batch Cooking
This one has been more popular in recent years and it’s a relatively simple way to save. When you cook a meal, you double up quantity to make a few extra potions. These can either be boxed up for tomorrow’s lunch or popped in the freezer to be used at a later date. This way there’s always a tasty, home cooked meal ready to be reheated and eaten in a rush. Bye Bye expensive, tasteless ready meals!
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